Navigating Choppy Waters

Arlene from Israel

It has become apparent to me that some of my readers, living outside of Israel but totally devoted to Israel, have an inflated sense of her potency.  And I want to start by addressing this.

That we should stand strong, for example, against the violence of Arabs, absolutely!  And I will have more to say about this below.

But this does not mean that Israel need not worry about international repercussions and that she is immune to all actions that might be taken against her in various spheres. Efforts to delegitimize Israel can cause considerable damage.  Sometimes prudent judgment is called for along with muscle flexing.  About this whole issue of the need for prudent judgment, as well, I will have more to say below.

These are the choppy waters.


Since yesterday, there have been more terror attacks.  Good that announcements have been made about measures to be taken, but we need them in place like yesterday.  Some plans, such as installing cameras, will take time. But the troops – empowered to act as they need to – must be out in force.

One of the trouble spots with regard to rock throwing and similar terrorist actions has been in the vicinity of the Jewish community of Tekoa, in the Judean Desert.

Credit: Jewish Agency

Terrorists are fond of throwing rocks at the cars driving on the road from Tekoa to Jerusalem (a new road, not represented on this map, that goes to the Har Homa neighborhood of Jerusalem).  Of late there has been considerable difficulty in this region, with cars frequently pelted by rocks.

This morning terrorists went one step further: Tekoa resident Rivi Lev Ohayon was on her way to her job in Jerusalem, when she encountered some twenty young adult Arabs holding rocks and forming a human barrier across the road.  A man with a large rock came towards her, and then some 10 Arabs jumped on the car and broke her windshield.  One attempted to open the door of the car, but she succeeded in pulling away, in reverse, and calling police.  Deeply traumatized, she considers herself lucky that she was not lynched.

Ohayun after the attack (Photo: Tekoa Security)

Credit: Security

Seven other cars were stoned on the same road at that time.

None of this should happen.  Not ever.


Then, a bit later this morning, another attack in the Old City of Jerusalem, near the Lion’s Gate.  A young Arab woman knifed a man, stabbing him in his upper body.  He was carrying a gun, however, and shot her.  She is in serious condition.

Lion’s Gate is the location where the horrendous attack occurred that took two lives on Saturday night.  And in this location, too, there must be sufficient security presence – police, soldiers – to guard against such incidents.


A third attack took place in Kiryat Gat today, perpetrated by an Arab from Yatta – an Arab village in Area A, near Susiya – who was in Israel illegally. After alighting from a bus, he stabbed a soldier and grabbed his gun, then ran into an apartment building.  When he tried to force his way into an apartment, the resident fled, screaming.  Police were alerted and when they arrived the terrorist began shooting at them.  Returning fire, they killed him.


I want to look at the most recent game playing of that slippery manipulator, Mahmoud Abbas.

Credit: ibtimes

I doubt there is anyone reading this who does not know how much responsibility he bears for the current violence.  Just days ago, at the UN, he not only spewed incitement, he suggested that he was about to walk away from the Oslo Accords.

But yesterday, he was singing a different song.  And this was obviously because Netanyahu had announced sterner security measures.   A clear indication that the announced intention to enforce such measures had an impact.

Suddenly, Abbas was a man of peace. Sort of. What he said was:

“We want to reach a political solution peacefully, and no other solution.  We want to minimize the risks of destruction and loss that will sprout on all sides in the current situation.”


This was for public consumption.  He then qualified his remarks with more of his UN theme, putting the onus on Israel:

“We say to the Israelis: Stop building in the settlements and come to the negotiating table.  We will be willing to return to negotiations and discuss the agreements that have been violated and neglected by Israel since Oslo and until now.

“We are committed to these agreements, but it is unreasonable for us to be the only ones who are committed to them. If Israel does not want these agreements, we do not want to implement them.”

This is the old Abbas “play both sides against the middle” technique, riddled with misrepresentations and distortions.


As to his statement that, “All our instructions to our agencies, our factions and our youth have been that we do not want escalation,” there is one main question to be asked:  Is this a blatant lie, did he not give such instructions?  Or do the Palestinian Arab factions and youth simply not care what he says?

I do not have answer, but we see the evidence, in today’s three incidents, that the violence has not abated.


It has been revealed by media sources that during the Security Cabinet meeting Prime Minister Netanyahu held Monday night, after the close of Simchat Torah, the issue of threats by Obama was raised.  Some of the right wing/nationalist members of the Cabinet (some within the Likud itself) were urging that part of the response to terrorism be increased building in Judea and Samaria.

This is not going to happen, Netanyahu informed them. For Obama has said that if there is building in Judea and Samaria, he will not veto a French resolution that is to be brought to the UN Security Council, a resolution that reportedly would declare “Palestine” a state and would declare the settlements “illegal.”

“We will not jeopardize international support for a declaration of building,” a senior source in the Netanyahu administration reportedly said,  While the prime minister himself called for “a sober political maneuver.”


“We are in a long struggle,” said Netanyahu, “and it does not need militancy, but rather it needs a lot of strength, a resolute attitude, much composure and thoroughness, and that is what we are doing.”



The question I want to explore, then, is whether Netanyahu simply “caved” to the US, as Arutz Sheva suggests, and as is his pattern, or whether he has valid reason to be cautious here.

My gut impulse is to say, damn them all, go ahead and build.  Now is the time for us to stand up for what is ours by right.  But I know that my gut impulse is not necessarily the wisest course of action.

In exploring precisely what IS the wisest course, I contacted two highly respected and knowledgeable international lawyers, and here share their responses.  Please, walk this through with me:


One lawyer, deeply involved in legal issues in Judea and Samaria, was interested in looking at the repercussions in terms of international law.

What those repercussions would be “all depends on whether any such resolution is adopted under Chapter 6 of the UN charter (non-binding recommendation) or chapter 7 (binding, action oriented).

“None of the existing resolutions were adopted under chapter 7, which can be used only in the event of a threat to international peace and security which requires military intervention. I can’t see that happening with us [he speaks as an Israeli].”

As I understand this, then, calling the settlements “illegal” would have no real legal import in terms of forcing Israeli communities out of Judea and Samaria.

As to establishing a state, it is, as I have indicated before (having discussed the issue with this lawyer before) that: “The UN doesn’t have the power to establish a state, but merely to accept existing states as members, subject to Security Council invitation.”

He does see it as possible (though unlikely) that such an invitation might be issued.

He predicts that Obama would be reluctant even now “to undermine the entire Oslo process in such a blatant manner.”  His opinion (this is not a legal opinion) is that a resolution would be tempered, and would “call for an immediate return to negotiations, with the aim of establishing a Palestinian state and recommending a freeze in settlements.”  All this, he says would not “really dramatically change the present situation.”

But the settlement issue as well as that of Jerusalem have regrettably reached panic proportions thanks to very clever Palestinian manipulation of Obama and the EU and their evidently existing predisposition to harm Netanyahu and hence harm Israel.” (My emphasis added here)


The other lawyer, a man with sterling international credentials, chose to look at other, non-legal aspects of the issue (my emphasis added):

”The SC resolution would be very very damaging. Not because of any particular legal point, but because it would lock in a fundamental delegitimization of Israel, trigger a wave of EU sanctions, and make it harder for future US presidents to support Israel.

If holding off on new building for now is the price of Obama’s veto, it may be worth it. However, there is no reason to believe he promised to veto the resolution. Rather, he may have threatened to NOT veto if we build. But that doesn’t mean that he WILL veto if we don’t – i.e., he is likely to NOT veto anyway.

“Unless Bibi has concrete assurances on this, it makes sense to assume there will be no veto and build anyway…His (Obama’s) promise may be worth something if made publicly or with some other additional indicia of reliability.”


What we see then is that this is not a simple matter and should be taken seriously, but received without panic.  It is not easy, being the head of a state that is isolated internationally and against which much venom is directed.

In the end it may well be that now is the time to stand up and claim our rights.  But I would not make light of Netanyahu’s hesitancy to move forward.


The good news for today? We’ve had rain. Heavy rain. The first of the season. After the terribly hot and dusty summer we’ve had it is particularly welcome. And it is considered a blessing. May many more blessings follow.


Credit: Globes


Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – Jerusalem Under Assault Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, The Pirate’s Cove, The Federalist and Simply Jews earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions:

Honorable Mentions:

Non-Council Submissions:

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!


Putin’s “Moral Clarity” Disguises Evil Intent

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

We as a nation are discussing ways to isolate and treat mental illness in society. How do we identify those who are mentally ill and get them help? These questions are also relevant on the world stage, as Russian President Vladimir Putin poses as the savior of the world.

You know that moral confusion is taking hold in society when a conservative website hails Vladimir Putin for his “moral clarity” in the War on Terror, and compares him to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Yet, Dr. Robin McFee, who generally focuses on Weapons of Mass Destruction preparedness as well as medical matters, writes that Putin, who has invaded Ukraine and is now backing the Assad dictatorship in Syria with troops and weapons, “has emerged as the go to global statesmen [sic] on the world stage” because he gave a U.N. speech describing chaos in the Middle East resulting from President Obama’s policies.

Both Obama and Putin have created instability in the Middle East, but that doesn’t mean that one is a statesman and the other is not. It may mean that they are both working in tandem to reduce American influence in the region, just as they partnered on behalf of a nuclear deal with Iran.

Regarding their U.N. speeches, McFee wrote, “Both Netanyahu and Putin shared a refreshing moral clarity, presenting an unvarnished snapshot of the world as it is, the threats awaiting us, and gave an unfiltered insight into the challenges they face, as well as approaches each will take in the protection of their respective nation’s interests and sovereignty.”

The idea that Putin is a leader we should admire is a notion that is nonsensical on its face. He gave asylum to NSA defector Edward Snowden, who still lives in Russia. In a recent edition of The Intelligencer, the journal of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), Peter Oleson writes about how Snowden’s disclosures have facilitated the activities of the Islamic State—a group that Putin claims he opposes—along with other American enemies and adversaries.

Oleson, a former assistant director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) who served as senior intelligence policy advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense Policy, writes, “The damage to US intelligence has been extensive. Snowden leaked the identities of over 1,000 targets of US intelligence and 31,000 files revealing what US policymakers want intelligence to provide (i.e., a list revealing what the US doesn’t know). His releases contain sufficient detail to identify US and allied intelligence officers. He revealed previously secret details of the US intelligence budget.”

He goes on, “Perhaps even more significant is the exposure of specific sources and methods and techniques US intelligence uses. Snowden has exposed how the US tracks terrorists via e-mails, social media, and cell phones.”

These are some of the same terrorists running wild in the Middle East that Putin says he opposes.

Indeed, Oleson notes that “The MI-5 head warned that the Snowden leaks undermined British security as concerns grow over British Islamists fighting in Syria. He also revealed the hacking techniques of NSA’s Tailored Access Office, the group that focuses on difficult electronic targets. Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has altered his communications to avoid detection. Electronic eavesdropping techniques used against Al Qaeda in Iraq no longer work.”

Summarizing the damage Snowden has done, Oleson concludes that Snowden is a traitor to the United States and quite possibly a spy.

There are other reasons to categorically reject the notion that Putin is a statesman who sees the world like Israel’s Netanyahu. The Russians created the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to destroy Israel. Israel has been terrorized by Soviet/Russian trained terrorists for decades.

But Putin, a former KGB colonel, wanted the world to forget this record of backing international terrorism when he spoke to the U.N.

McFee approvingly quotes Putin as saying in his U.N. speech, “We believe that any attempts to play games with terrorists, let alone to arm them, are not just short-sighted. This may result in the global terrorist threat increasing dramatically and engulfing new regions, especially given that Islamic State camps train militants from many countries, including the European countries.”

She then adds, “Beyond a few glaringly obvious issues, like Russian influence in Iran, and criminal money laundering, nevertheless, Putin highlights important facts.”

“Russian influence in Iran?” Is that how Russian sponsorship of the Iranian regime and its nuclear weapons program is best described?

Relegating “Russian influence in Iran” to a throwaway line ignores the terrorism this alliance has meant for the Middle East and the world. It is the Iranian relationship with Syria and Russia that Putin is determined to support in the Middle East. Iranian-supported terrorist groups are just as lethal as the Islamic State, and Netanyahu knows it. That’s why he has pleaded with Putin, to no avail, to look the other way when Israel bombs Syrian and Iranian supply lines for Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The fact that Putin invaded Ukraine, and that his separatist forces brought down a civilian airliner over areas they control, should also disabuse us of any notion that he is a moral statesman on the world stage. Of course, Putin also kills journalists and opposition figures. But particularly gruesome ways of killing, such as the poisoning of former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, are reserved for those who spill secrets about Putin and his KGB comrades. Litvinenko disclosed Russian training of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

McFee’s praise for Putin’s “moral clarity on radical Islam at the U.N.” ignores the evidence that the Russians have their fingerprints all over the activities of the Islamic State, not only through facilitating Snowden’s disclosures but through the provision of actual manpower.

The Homeland Security Committee’s recent report on foreign fighters in the Islamic State lists Russia as number four among the top 10 countries of origin. Russia has supplied 1,700 fighters. The United States isn’t even in the top 10. Russia has done little to stop this flow of people to the Islamic State, suggesting that some are leaving under the watchful eye of Putin’s intelligence services. One Islamic State military commander is, in fact, considered a Russian plant.

Russia may not control every faction of the Islamic State, but it’s a sure bet that Putin’s intelligence operatives are in charge of at least some of them. It is significant that initial Russian airstrikes were determined to be hitting opponents of Assad, not Islamic State fighters.

As we have seen by the intervention in Syria, the Islamic State serves Russian interests by giving Putin the opportunity to act decisively on behalf of the Syrian regime, which also benefits Iran. Putin comes out on top no matter which side wins and looks like a statesman in the process. At least he looks that way to some.

It’s time to face reality: Putin is a bloodthirsty killer whose only concern is building up Russian power and damaging the interests of the United States. Disgust for Obama should not blind people to that fact.

It’s time to identify Putin as not only mentally unstable, but so bloodthirsty that he constitutes a threat to the Middle East, America and the world. Putin’s nuclear weapons buildup is so alarming that our top generals have called Russia an “existential threat” to the United States.

We’ve identified the problem. So who among the presidential candidates has a plan to rid the world of this lunatic before thousands, or even millions, of Americans die?


Listen Live – House of Bribes: How the United States Led the Way to a Nuclear Iran

Please note change in time below…

Listen live Wednesday October 8th at 9:00 AM Eastern

Mike Hewitt

Mike Hewitt (News Talk 1090 WKBZ-AM) interviews Denise Simon, one of the authors of House of Bribes: How The United States Led The Way To A Nuclear Iran

  • Valerie Jarrett, John Kerry, and George Soros have used Barack Hussein Obama and the Presidency to legitimize Islamic terror. Their plans were helped along by a patient and methodical domestic Iranian lobby.
  • The United States government, in particular the White House and Congress, are deeply corrupt. The representatives of the American people put a higher value on personal profit and reelection than they do on national security and the security of America’s allies.  According to a recent Gallup poll, a full 75% of Americans see “widespread corruption” in their government.
  • The sovereignty of the United States has been sold to the international highest bidder. Congress no longer serves as an effective check on treaty-making. The U.S.A.’s foreign policy is now largely directed by the United Nations, which is, in turn, dominated by the 57-state Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
  • The Obama administration seems to be more interested in the profitability of foreign companies as opposed to domestic companies. Indeed, a reasonable reading of events indicates that Obama viewed foreign business interests as his best allies in securing the Iran nuclear deal.
  • IAPAC (Iranian-American Political Action Committee) donated the most money to political candidates in 2008. This was certainly to ensure the election of Barack Hussein Obama.
  • From the beginning, the bi-partisan Iranian lobby was tied to Tehran, the United Nations, and George Soros.
  • The United States’ reputation is now tied to that of Iran, the most prolific state sponsor of Islamic terror. Unless a military strike cripples the Iranian nuclear facilities, the terror regime will very soon have nuclear weapons with which to strike Israel, the Gulf region, Europe, and any other enemy within range.